Patients inherently trust their doctors and other health care professionals. They are highly trained and most do important life-saving or life-improving work. But health care professionals are only human, and sometimes they make mistakes. In some cases the mistakes may be justifiable, but in other instances a mistake may be little more than negligence, which could give rise to a medical malpractice claim in Pennsylvania.
One example of a the type medical mistake that could result in a malpractice claim is a failure to diagnosis - or incorrectly diagnosing - an illness or malady. The results of an incorrect or failed diagnosis can be life threatening. For example, if a dangerous disease like cancer goes untreated or is treated incorrectly with the wrong drugs, a patient could suffer substantial harm. However, as noted above, not all mistakes are necessarily negligent.
Sometimes, two illnesses can present in the same way and a health care professional must make an educated decision as to how to proceed. In a case like this, if the professional proceeds incorrectly, it may not be malpractice. The question that must be asked to decide whether the mistake is negligent is whether a reasonable doctor, in similar circumstances, could have arrived at the same diagnosis, while ruling out the symptoms' actual cause.
Clearly, proving malpractice in a case where there was a failed or erroneous diagnosis can be complicated. This is why involving an experienced medical malpractice attorney in a case can make a tremendous difference in the outcome. When it comes to medical malpractice, the lawyers of Leisawitz Heller fit the prescription.
Source: FindLaw.com, "Failed/Erroneous Diagnosis and Treatment," accessed Feb. 20, 2018.